Other types of insulation

Floor Insulation

Rooms can sometimes feel cold due to strong drafts rising up from gaps between the floorboards or between the skirting board and the floor.

This is easily resolved by investing in a regular tube sealant, such as silicon and filling the gaps. Even this will save you around £25 a year in heating bills.

Another way of reducing draughty floors is to insulate underneath the floorboards on the ground floor. This can be done by laying mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the joists. As well as making the room feel warmer, it will save you around £40 a year for an approximate outlay of around £100.

Caution: Don't block under-floor airbricks in your outside walls. Floorboards will rot without adequate ventilation.

Rugs and carpets on the floor will also help your feet feel warmer - which might mean you don't feel the need to put the heating on as much.

Some jobs may require a professional or you may not feel able to do the job yourself.  Find an installer who is a member of the National Insulation Association

Double Glazing

Poorly insulated window frames and single glazed windows account for up to 20 per cent of heat loss in the average home. 

Double glazing creates an insulating barrier by trapping air between two panes of glass and reduces heat loss, noise and condensation. Replacing all single-glazed windows with B-rated double glazing could save you around £165 per year on your energy bills.

There are a variety of frame materials to choose from such as wooden, uPVC, aluminium or steel or composite frames.

They also vary, depending on:

  • how well they stop heat from passing through the window
  • how much sunlight travels through the glass
  • how little air can leak in or out around the window

Always look for the Energy Saving Recommended logo when choosing your windows as the whole window is assessed on a rating of A-G by the British Fenestration Rating Council

If you can’t afford to replace all your windows at once, start with the rooms that you heat the most.  Alternatively, think about secondary glazing which costs less to install but could still save you money by cutting heat loss and draughts.

Secondary Glazing

Double glazing may not always be an option for everyone, however, it is still possible to cut out the draughts and reduce heat loss through windows using various forms of secondary glazing. Some can be bought from your local hardware store and fitted yourself, others are more specialist. Some of the secondary-glazing options listed below are not allowed in listed buildings, so check first.

Transparent film secondary glazing

The simplest and cheapest form of secondary glazing is thin transparent plastic film which you install yourself using strips of double-sided sticky tape around the frame of the window. The material looks like ‘cling-film’, but if fitted properly it is wrinkle-free and almost invisible.

Temporary secondary glazing

Next up, in terms of expense, complexity and permanence are the systems in which a sheet of rigid and transparent material like clear acrylic plastic is fitted to the window frame, in such a way that it can be put up or taken down as the season requires. Some systems use magnet strips to attach the secondary glazing to the frame, others a Velcro-like material. A particularly popular method is ‘clip and stick’ where uPVC edging is used to clip the panel in place over the window frame. These types of glazing also help reduce noise.

Semi-permanent secondary glazing

Some of the more expensive types of secondary glazing are semi-permanent and are fixed either by screwing them into place or using a strong adhesive or sealant. They can be made of heavy materials like glass. On wider windows they can slide open on tracks to allow the windows to open as normal. This type are not generally suitable for DIY.

Sash windows are notorious for letting in cold air. You can get clear, light-weight acrylic panels to fit over the glazed frames, but these don’t cover the many gaps on the sides, top and bottom that make sash frames particularly draughty.